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Saudi princess says she's ready to drive, as soon as women are allowed

February 9, 2009 13:25

The wife of one of Saudi Arabia's most high profile and richest men said she's ready to get behind the wheel as soon as women are permitted to drive, highlighting again a contentious issue authorities in this conservative desert kingdom prefer to play down. Princess Amira al-Taweel, who is married to global tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, told the Saudi daily Al-Watan that she already drives when she travels abroad. "Certainly I'm ready to drive a car," said Amira, whose husband is a nephew of Saudi King Abdallah and is ranked as the world's 13th-richest person by Forbes magazine. "I have an international driver's license, and I drive a car in all the countries I travel to." Women in Saudi Arabia are not permitted to drive. Saudi officials usually sidestep the question by saying the issue is a social and not religious one, but lately Saudi princesses have spoken out in support of driving, including Princess Lolwah Al-Faisal, daughter of the late King Faisal, at the World Economic Forum two years ago.

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